In this episode, Sydney breaks down the mistakes that you could be making on your website to stop conversion, the importance of having a website strategy in place to attract your soul clients, and her top recommended platforms to build your website.
Sydney Hart is a triple threat as a brand and web designer who is also a copywriter. She works with content creation experts so their message is visually magnetic. With experience working for government agencies in project planning, women CEOs on strategic design, and writing for international and multi-six figure entrepreneurs, she knows what it takes to get messages across, the first time. Along her journey, Sydney realized that many entrepreneurs in the content creation space were already online, but not in a way that positions them for success, so she founded With Hart Creative Studio, a high-level brand strategy and design agency. With Hart, Creative Studio has a mission to revitalize credibility into creative industries by allowing women to be themselves and not focus on fitting in but standing out with their amazing services and superpowers. She uses psychology-based design and winning words that position her clients as true experts.
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Welcome to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. I'm Jenessa McKenzie, an intuitive business and mindset coach to inspired success, driven solopreneurs like you who are ready to show up as a bad-ass boss and create the impact and income they desire. It's my mission to help you see who you were created to be. So you can share your gifts with the world and make a difference. My approach to business is not what most would call normal. Thank God because being weird and unapologetic about it is my jam on this podcast, or mix the glue with the do to help you create the space energetics and strategy to attract the clients and cash you really want, but unapologetically showing up as who you are. So you can design the business and life you desire from the inside out. So if you're ready to say peace to settling, hiding half-ass and dimming your light, and yes, to have the abundant, profitable business and life of your dreams without living on the edge of exhaustion and overwhelm, listen up as I hit the BS button on the extremely outdated perception that you need to hustle to be something you're not successful.
Thank you so much for being here today. Now let's do this.
Hey everyone. Welcome back to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. I am here today with Sidney Hart from, heart creative studio. I'm so excited to have you here, Sydney. Uh, we're going to talk today about website mistakes that are stopping conversions in their tracks. And um, so welcome before I just dive into like this verbal vomit. Welcome Sydney.
Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited about the conversation we're going to have today.
Yeah, me too. So tell us a little bit more about you and got you started. How did you, um, find this was your genius?
Yeah, no problem. So, um, as a lot of entrepreneurs would probably say I've always been very creative, um, but I've never put a price tag on it until I was in college and I was shopping for cash. I needed some money and I had been doing various design projects for a lot of the organizations. I was a part of, um, friends and family. So I just decided to sell my logos for $30 and see what happens. Um, four years later I've grown into learning all about brand strategy, learning all about copywriting as well, because what I found was that a lot of my clients will walk away with gorgeous things, but not necessarily know why decisions were made, not know, um, how to use the assets they were given. So I've really kind of honed in on crafting a rebrand agency. Um, so folks are already online but making that they're reintroducing themselves with style and positioning themselves in the right way.
Right? So last year I learned copywriting as well. So I'm also a copywriter as well as a designer. And, um, with all of that, that I've learned, it's really just great to see a lot of what my niche clients and the content creation and marketing space, um, can grow their business sustainably and make sure that they're not showing up as an amateur is showing up looking like the professionals that they are. So my journey has been, um, an interesting one. I, uh, watched my mom be an entrepreneur when I was a kid, we would go to the farmer's market once a week and she'd sell her homemade oils and Shea butter. And that was my first introduction to having something of your own. Um, and I've actually never really even called myself an entrepreneur until about two years ago. Um, up until then I was just like, oh, I just design things like I can make your website. Yeah. I can make your logo. Um, but then I honed in, on my own brand strategy, revisiting my services, we visited my packaging, revisited my messaging, and it's helped so much in transforming, transforming my clients. Um, and just educating people, um, in general.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. You said before something about, you know, you can give them all the beautiful things, but if they're not clear on what their next steps are or you know, what, how they're making their decisions and, and that's like really one of the biggest pieces of building your brand, right? Because your brand, your brand, I say, I mean, it's your message, right? Like the actual message behind your brand, like why you started this journey in the first place, um, is always going to be like your North star for everything that you do.
[inaudible] literally one of them, one of the first questions I'll always ask people is why did you start your business? Like, it may seem like a very basic question, but a lot of the times in the kind of hustle and bustle of the online space we can get so caught up in, you need to post this many times a day, you need to blast out to your email list. You have to get clients to get sales. Um, but it just, it's really nice to revisit the roots and, um, the meaning behind someone's business. So yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Yes, absolutely. And you know, those roots are important and I think there's a lot of, a lot of us when we start and this was, you know, including me, we go into it like, yes, we want to start this business because we love doing this thing so much. And then we get into it and we're like, Whoa, there's a lot of stuff here that I didn't know. I needed to know. Right. Definitely. Yeah. So what are the, so you just said that the first question you always ask is why did they start their business? You know, what are, when you go onto somebody's website, what are some of the things that you find that people are like, uh, you know, that just aren't working well for them?
Yeah. So I would say, so first of all, what a lot of people don't know is that about 60% of people's website visitors aren't going to scroll down the entire homepage, right? Yeah. So a lot of folks are really big about the, I help statement. And it's really great to have it at the top of your website because I've been on so many sites where I hop on and because they, you know, the the the client, or even the person that has a site is well known in the space. Um, maybe they have simply gotten clients by word of mouth that there's nothing up there. There's maybe a photo. Um, there's maybe a little quippy statement, but there's nothing that truly says, this is what I do. And this is how, you know, if you're in the right place. Right. Um, I think that's a huge part of website strategy is having one in the first place.
It's understanding what is the purpose of this site? What is the purpose of this goal and what is the call to action? And then really even breaking up your site into individual pages and saying, what is the purpose and goal of this actual page, right. What do I want people to do once they've read through all of this jargon? So I think just having a clear-cut statement, and you can add some, you know, flavor personality as you kind of go along, but definitely, folks need to know exactly what it is that you do. Um, I think the next thing for sure is like the navigation I've been on so many sites where people just assume since they built the site, that other people will understand how to navigate it. So if I can't find the menu or if the menu has five different drop-down items and I'm not sure which one to pick, if you have, you know, cutesy names in place of the sort of generic, uh, items.
So let's say you have, um, our story instead of about, or, you know, this is our, this is my journal instead of a blog, really good to introduce more, more and more personality as people start to read on. But when it comes to things like your navigation, um, and your buttons and things of that sort, you want to just kind of be straight to the point and let people know what they're getting when they click, because it's one thing to click a button on a site it's another to actually there and understand what's going on. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think that your personality shows up better in your copy, like, or your content where they're clicking on your blog, they're going to read through blog posts and be like, Oh, okay. I get her vibe. But like, they don't necessarily care about your vibe when they're just trying to figure out where to go on your website.
Yeah. And it makes sense too like there's like one tip I'll give people too, is that your design doesn't necessarily have to be super static and, um, super stuffy. Right. So there are ways to throw it in personality, even in a menu, maybe in your menu items are kind of straight to the point, but maybe there's something in the corner of the item, especially one like a mobile, um, setup when someone's on their phone or tablet, you can have something really decorative in the corner that says, you know, um, he, he was my GM, here's what I do, you know, something that kind of sparks interests, but I always suggest that people do that after they've gotten the bare bones of their site up. Um, so just focus on the actual skeleton, then you can start to add, you know, the meat and the, and the flavor on there to craft something that, that feels like you.
Yeah. So what do you say to people that are like, I can't do anything until I get my website done.
Oh, that's, that's trash, not true whatsoever. Now one thing I will say, of course, as a designer, I'm always going to advocate for having an online presence of some sort, but there have been people who have sold their high four and five-figure, um, packages with a Google doc. Some people have sold simply through DMS, right? So there is always a way to sell what you want to sell. I think really that just comes down to brand strategy. Um, as long as you're solid on things like your messaging, your tone, your brand voice, and of course your ideal client and those specific pain points, then you're pretty much golden in terms of you showing up online. Now you showing up online as a professional versus an amateur look, that's debatable when it comes to your website. But, um, but yeah, you can definitely sell without a website.
I think a lot of, a lot of website designers claim that that's, um, not true, but I definitely think it is. I've seen people do it. I've done it myself. Even when I first started, I just had one page, um, landing page before I even claimed to be a designer. But I was like, look, I don't have time. They're going to get this one page or I'm going to get clients and we're going to get these transformations out the door. Right. So sometimes you're so focused, on just doing the work, which is a blessing. Um, but after a while, that's why I really stress rebranding. A lot of the times you kind of have to revisit, especially if you're doing things like doubling and tripling your prices. If you're doing things like reaching out to celebrity clients or whatever it is that you want to get you to the next level, sometimes it takes, you know, reaching out to a professional or really just kind of getting it done.
Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree with you there. Um, and I ask that because, um, I've told this story before, but, uh, when I first started my photography business, I think I sat for a month, like eight hours a day to do my website and looking back on it, I'm like a dope, like a dope slap. Right. I was like, Oh no, I can't, I can't tell anybody. I even have a business without a website. Do you know? Um, so I know that there's a lot of, you know, a lot of new entrepreneurs, especially this year. A lot of people have either had to pivot or just said, Holy crap, I can, you know, not have an income ceiling with an online business. Um, and so there's been this burst of people and I'm sure that a lot of them are relatively new and probably feel some of the same struggles that we probably all did in the beginning. You know, like I have to have all these things done before I can go sell anything, which as you said is trash. Right?
And I will say too, like a lot of people come to designers and say, Hey, what do I need to have together before I come to you? And I tell people that a telltale sign of a client, who's going to let you do the work who's going to trust you. Who's going to be ready to invest in someone who's done all they can. So I love when a client comes to me and says, yeah, I built my website three years ago and it's like, horrible. I know it's horrible, but I've gotten clients. I've gotten transformations. I have a proven process. And now I just need a look and feel that works for me. Um, and that signature to my voice, my personality, and what I want to bring to the world. So don't, I always tell people don't be stressed about having everything together because what no one tells you is that we're all figuring this out. None of us are experts. So take your time and do what works for you. But when you, when you've hit that ceiling you'll know, right. You'll know when it's time to say, okay, to like refresh, build a team, hire someone, you know, whatever you need to do to get to that next level.
Yeah. And it'll scare the out of you too when you hit that point. Cause you're like, oh, I don't know what to do next. Uh, I know that this needs to happen and Holy crap, we're, we're going to the next level. Like, that's what it feels like when that happens. Cause I, what had happened to me and I hired my first coach and I was like, I just don't, I just need somebody to guide me. Like I have done everything I possibly can by myself and I just need somebody else. Yeah. Yeah. So it gets to that point. And that's the exact point. I love that you said that because that's, um, that's a really strong indicator, the indicator, you know, right there that you are ready to take it to the next level and do whatever it is, hire your designer or hire your coach or hire a VA, whatever it is that is, you know, that's the indicator right there.
I love that. So my first website was WordPress and um, and I took it myself. Good God. Um, but there are so many places that you can create a website now. Right. And a lot of it is, you know, kind of drag and drop type of things. I mean, yes, you can still custom code things and things like that, but it's pretty easy to build a website now. And I'm not saying that to, you know, definitely not to diminish anything like website design at all, because it's not just about dragging and dropping things when you're designing a website, it's about exactly what you said to make sure that it's, navigatable make sure that people understand what you do, make sure people can get to where they need to go and all the links work and it looks beautiful and it speaks to them. Right. And there are definitely people that are, you know, not as creative as us creatives. Right. So when it comes to that stuff, they're kind of like, I have no idea. So even that, even though there are a lot of places where you can go and drag and drop things, people still are like at either one, I don't have time for this or to, um, I want it to look beautiful and aligned to me. So what, what types of websites do you design? What do you do specifically? Like, are you specific with like Squarespace or WordPress or, you know, whatever.
Yeah. So right now, um, I used to do it all right. I used to, I use whether I knew the platform or not. I was like, look, I'll figure it out. Just like, you know, we'll get it done, but I definitely have found a favorite show. It is, um, my absolute favorite, um, just because not even necessary, because it's so easy for me to use, but because it's so easy for my clients to go in and update whatever they need to update. Um, I am a very visual person as well, so it really helps me to have a platform that's not too, um, technical in a sense where I can't create what I envision in five minutes or less, you know? Um, and I don't mind, you know, coding some, some content if I feel that, you know, uh, animation could be better or we want to do something a bit different, but it just makes it so much easier when um, when clients are like, yeah, I was able to switch that photo out.
No problem. You know, I was able to change this copy, um, this one wording because you know, I've gone up on my pricing or whatever it is. Cause I think that it's one thing to have a website that your designer can, um, an update, but it's another to have one that you can kind of hop in or send your VA to hop in, um, and take care of. So show it is my absolute favorite. Uh, my goal within the next year is to learn about one or two more platforms. We'll see how that goes. Um, but right now, show it, show it as my absolute favorite. I did WordPress a few years back, um, and it was a nightmare. It was a nightmare, uh, specifically for the client. So it just helps now that, you know, folks have their, their video tutorials, when they wrap up with me, they show it has amazing tutorials as well. So it just makes it so much easier.
Yeah. Uh, WordPress was a nightmare for me too. Like in the beginning, it wasn't so bad, but then the more like plugins and stuff you add to it, the more, you know, uh, apt it is to break somewhere
And that's, and that's why I always tell people like I admire those designers who like only work with WordPress. Like I know if you and they're amazing, they're absolutely amazing. And they have like maintenance plans and things because they know how hard it is to operate. So they're like, look, you know, just put me on retainer, we'll do this month just to update the plugins or whatever, um, needs to be. But my schedule is usually so packed and I'm like, look, you can book a VIP day. I don't know what else to tell you. So yeah. Um, show it and like, I really like wakes too. I haven't built a website on it personally just yet, but a lot, um, a lot of entrepreneurs that I know have their websites on Wix as well. So, um, that's a really good option too. And then my last one is web flow. That's the one I'm going to try to learn a bit more about, it's a newer platform, maybe a few years old, but it's really versatile as well.
Um, Hm. Yeah. I used Kajabi and I love Kajabi because it's like everything you need in one thing, right? Like, you know, uh, you can have a store, you can have all your courses, like all your digital stuff. Is there, your email lists, your email marketing, like every email you send out can go through there and your website and more. Um, but I do understand that it is a little pricier than other, you know, places where you just want your website. Um, but I find Kajabi super easy to use and I don't have to worry about plugins or things working or whatever like that's all on their end. So I love that the ease and the, and the point that you made to that too, is, is super, super important that if you, we need to change the wording, like who wants to send an email to their designer and be like, can you change this three to a four and then have to wait like seven days for it to happen? Do you know? Uh, so much easier to just get that done and just do it yourself. Definitely. Yeah. So let's see, what else do we have here? What else do we want to talk about?
Um, let's see. I know in, uh, one of the emails, there was a note about like psychology, um, and psychology-based design and things of that sort. I had some notes written out, uh, for that.
Yeah, definitely. Shoot, talk to me about psychology and your website. That's interesting.
Got you. So, um, one thing I always stress when it comes to branding, is there the difference of course, between demographics and psychographics? And I think a lot of people, um, focus on simply the deliverables on simply, you know, having to sign up just to have it up. But I think there's something to be said for the psychographics and how people, um, are emotionally affected and mentally affected by things like color, um, things by how buttons are placed. Things like shapes in terms of rebranding. And a lot of people just kinda ignore this and just kind of move past it and say, Oh, I have my sign up. I've chosen five colors. I built a logo on Canva. I'm good. And it's like, no, sometimes there needs to be, well really 99.9% of the time. There needs to be some sort of brand strategy involved, which also means that you have to understand your ideal client.
Um, and demographics, of course, are things like the outer, um, demographics are things, like the outer, uh, moments in someone's lives, right? The what affects them on the outside when they're living, what kind of family life they have, um, what sort of career they have, whether they're working in their business and have a nine to five or they're full time, or maybe they have a team of five, whatever it is, but psychographics is a first day walking. So those emotional instances, those fears, and, um, those excuses are going to give you when they say they can't pay for your course or pay for your program or your service. Right? Yeah. Knowing all those things, it's going to be really, really useful when you're working through psychology in terms of your website and your brand. So I am a huge advocate and people will hear me talk about this forever about psychology.
Um, so it's always great to think about what emotions is my client experiencing currently and what is making them come to me in the first place, and what is the complete opposite of those, right? So once you have a quick list of what's, the opposite of those are always telling people, you can simply Google this emotion, color psychology, and you'll have a full list at your, at your disposal, right? It's just, it's just going through color waves, color balances, um, Hughes and things of that sort, which is a whole other ball game. But, um, I always tell people that you always want to revisit the psychology of your people, because that's always going to kind of bring you back to it. Well, even if you're writing your own copy, if you're designing your own website, thinking, okay, how is my client gonna, how's this going to impact my client?
Or why would my client go to this button first versus this button? Even when you're thinking about how you set up your menu. I think that's really important too, is to just figure out where your client is psychological. And then also a tip that I always give people is before you even launch it aside, it's great to send like a preview link to like two to three old clients and ask them, Hey, you know, please don't share this link with anyone, but I would love to get your feedback on this, or even getting them on a call like a zoom call, share your screen and say, Hey, I would love like just raw feedback from this. Um, before you worked with me, do you think this would help you out? Is there anything that's confusing about this? Um, because aside from building out your site, you have to make sure that you go through quality assurance, um, make sure that you're testing things out and testing things also includes like the mental state, emotional state and, um, inner workings of your client.
Yeah. Yes. And a lot of, a lot of us, in the beginning, don't even really think about those things. We're just like, what's the problem? How do I solve it? And how do I tell them that, right? We're not like, Oh, this color will evoke this emotion or, or this shape will. Um, but I didn't even, I mean, I like kind of knew that shapes, I know shapes will do that, but I didn't really even think about shapes on your like website, but yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And it's so funny because really that's like just another hat that we put on as an entrepreneur, right. Is like a psychoanalyst.
Yeah. There are so many ads. There's like 20 an hour alone. That's why I'm looking for a VA. Cause I'm like, look, there's only so much I can do and still serve my clients, you know, in a way that, that benefits them. So yeah,
Exactly, exactly. That's amazing. So are there any last-minute or last words that you would love to share with anybody listening that would totally button this whole thing up for you? Okay.
Yeah, I would definitely say, um, that if you're going through your website and you see some things that you want to change, don't feel so overwhelmed. I know that it's a lot. I know that it can be very, um, time-consuming. Believe me. I know I'm just writing out a quick list and breaking it up into a few hours in a day, a few days in a week, um, a few weeks in a month and you're there. Right? So just breaking things down and then a few resources that I would love to share, um, for people to check how their website is operating, is there the web site called broken link check.com, um, and you literally put your URL in there and we'll let you know what broken links you have. It will let you know it will link what specific page they're broken on.
Um, so that way you can kind of research that goes in the back end before anyone even has the chance to send you a DM or email saying, Hey, I can access this. Um, and then one other resource I have is hotjar.com. I'm not sure if people have heard of that, but it's a platform that helps you record your visitor's interactions on your site. So they'll give you a tiny piece of code that you just pop in your website, and it will literally give you videos of mouses moving across your screen. You know, where they're clicking, how they're scrolling, where they're slowing down in their scroll. That'll probably let you know what headlines are working and what headlines aren't working. Um, one thing they also do is they'll create a heat map of your site. So the red places are the places that our people are clicking the most, the places that are yellow or green people, aren't really clicking so much on there.
So like on my website, for instance, um, the about page and the portfolio page are like the hottest buttons. And then of course, next it's like the work with me and the contact, right? So those are two resources that I always recommend to folks, especially if you're going to the DIY route. And even after you've worked with a designer, putting that Hotjar, um, uh, code in there helps so much because even if you want to revisit once a month or every three months with the designer and say, Hey, you know, I want to change some things around because he doesn't seem like this portion is converting. I always tell people that a rebrand or redesign doesn't necessarily mean that things are going to do a complete one 80. Um, sometimes even after your launch is going to take some testing and some changes in some evolving. So, um, I just want to share those resources and wish everyone, um, uh, happy whipping your website into shape.
I love that. I love that. Hotjar one. I'll have to check that one out. No problem. It's very cool. Very cool. So tell us where we can find you on these interwebs that we are all connected on.
Yeah. So the, um, first place that you can find me, of course, it's Instagram. Um, and that's at with hard creative. studio and that's hard. Isn't my last name. H an R T. Um, that's where I put all my videos on my live streams. Um, talk a bunch of mess on my Instagram stories and you guys can come to hang out with me there. And of course, my website is with Hart, creative. the studio as well. Um, and that's where you can see more of my work. Um, I'm going to be releasing a blog in a few weeks, so hopefully, I'll be able to kind of read up, also have a post that, um, has more tools available, including Hotjar and broken link check too. So those are the two places that you all can find me.
Awesome. Awesome. All right. So anyone listening, make sure you can go and show Sydney some love over there. And, um, do you have a podcast?
Um, I don't just yet. Oh, okay.
I'm sorry. I was looking, I was just looking at her, um, information and I was like, Oh, it says podcast here, but, but, uh, I guess, okay, awesome. So anyone listening, if you, you know, have taken away things, I can't imagine you wouldn't have taken away anything from this episode because Sydney just laid it all down for you. So I want to hear, we both want to hear what you took away. What were your aha moments? What do you need more help on? Um, take a picture of this episode, plus screenshot it and post it on your Instagram stories. And tag us, send us DMS, ask us questions because we love your questions and we will see you all on the next step. So have you ever wondered why some days you're so energized that whipping through actions in your, like a breeze
And others, you feel like you just want to go back to bed, pull the covers over your head and totally retreat from the world. Or maybe there are weeks where everything feels easier and the abundance is flowing while others feel like you're smashing your head on a brick wall. And resistance seems to roll leading to a ton of trash talk going on in your head. you're anything like me and most entrepreneurs you've tried to push through and keep hustling. Even when your mind, body, and soul are crying out for rest because that's what we've been taught. We need to do something to be successful. Go, go, go 24 seven. What if I told you that it doesn't have to be that way? Imagine just for a moment that you could create an abundant profitable business without living on the edge of exhaustion and burnout. What if you could actually enjoy your business in a state of joy, ease, and flow?
What if you could find that healthy balance of business, life, and self with all the guilt of not being on all the time while you can, by understanding your own unique energy, clearing out the old stories that play on a loop in your head and replacing them with upgraded next level empowered versions that are aligned with your vision, kick strategies and awesome business coaching to move your business forward. You don't always have to be on to be successful and get big things done. In fact, it's not natural or healthy and could even be a barrier to the ultimate success of your business. Knowing when to floor the gas pedal and when to hit the brake, you'll no longer need to push or force your way forward. Instead, you can switch into receiving mode, find your flow, and be the limitless abundant being you were created to be. I'd like to introduce you to the elevated entrepreneurial membership in this vibration-raising community. I am bringing you the first business building, spirituality-driven membership that shows you how to apply the principles of energy, spirituality, mindset, and strategy to grow your business from the inside out for lasting success. Check out the link in the show notes or visit my website, the elevated entrepreneur.net for more info.
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